The Seattle Seahawks continued their constant roster turnover this week, releasing three players and officially re-signing running backs Christine Michael and Bryce Brown and tight end Chase Coffman. The Seahawks also activated backup middle linebacker (and key special teams performer) Brock Coyle.
Given that Harris led the Seahawks with 18 rushing attempts after Thomas Rawls was injured in last week's dominating win over the Baltimore Ravens, the news was a bit of a surprise. However, Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have previously shown an uncommon willingness to cut bait when players didn't perform up to expectations and with just 43 yards gained (and a fumble lost) on those 18 attempts, Harris, frankly, failed to take advantage of the opportunity presented to him with Rawls' unfortunate injury.
Seizing the opportunity is precisely what Brown and Michael hope to do.
"This league is about opportunity," Brown said Wednesday. "My opportunity is in front of me right now."
Brown possesses the blend of size, strength and speed to take over as Seattle's primary runner on first and second down. Michael is the more gifted runner, showing an eye-popping blend of agility and burst to gain yardage in chunks. He's previously proven unreliable in pass protection and has struggled with ball security.
Carroll said Monday that former starting fullback Derrick Coleman would also get an opportunity this week to run the ball (at least in practice) and that veteran Fred Jackson would maintain his third down duties.
The addition of Coffman (who was signed and subsequently released from the club earlier this month) is likely insurance for Luke Willson, who suffered a rib injury against the Ravens. Willson has largely performed well since being pressed into the starting role with Jimmy Graham's season-ending patellar tendon tear, with a dropped touchdown against Baltimore a notable exception.
Like the lanky Willson, the 6-6, 250 pound Coffman is more of a hybrid receiver than an punishing in-line blocker. He could be expected to play a similar role as Willson as a seam threat should he get playing time against the Browns.
An underrated portion of this week's news is the return of Coyle, whose instincts, toughness, athleticism and enthusiasm are valued by the Seahawks on defense and special teams.
When speaking to reporters Monday, Carroll was excited about Coyle's return.
"We’re really fired up to get him up," Carroll said. "[Coyle] been full speed for a couple weeks. He waited through the process, so we’re really happy to add him back into all of the special teams. He’s a core special teamer for us, and he’s really primed and ready to go. So he’ll give us a little boost where we’d like to see it, and he’ll be ready to back up at linebacker.”